System availability (overall equipment effectiveness, OEE) is a critical success factor and an important cost lever – especially for manufacturing companies with a large amount of machinery. If the target OEE is not reached, there is a direct negative impact on production planning and control as well as calculated product cost per unit. “At the end of a workweek consisting of 15 shifts, even a small deviation of 5% per shift would mean that 75% of the first shift in the following week would be needed to catch up with resulting backlogs – and in some cases an additional shift may even be necessary,” explains Andreas Grundnig, Partner and Director Center of Competence at Ingenics.
In order to optimize system availability over the long term and boost efficiency of the entire factory, Ingenics experts follow a multistage approach that has been tried and tested in practice for many years in numerous projects. It begins with an analysis of status quo and an evaluation of the competitive situation, followed by a joint review and definition of a target OEE as well as development of individual measures that are necessary for a long-term optimization of system availability – including supporting workshops and personal coaching.
Relevant aspects – from analysis to implementation
For Ingenics experts, relevant issues when analyzing the status quo include value stream, material and information flows, working structure, work system activities, susceptibility to malfunction, any particular problems, and the current shopfloor management system. A summary of the analysis then provides a basis for establishing potential in terms of system availability. Taking into account the evaluation of the competitive situation, the Ingenics team reviews the target OEE with the client and defines a new value as required.
In the view of Andreas Grundnig, a number of factors are crucial for the sustainable achievement of the target OEE: establishment of a shopfloor management system that always works in theory and practice, implementation of supporting workshops that gradually transfer responsibility to the respective customer team, and personal coaching of management staff so that they can uphold the goals.
Especially when developing a fully functional shopfloor management system, it is important “not only to consider and potentially optimize the performance measurement system, infrastructure, communications, and management behavior, but also to create a flexible operator model. This should be based on unambiguous standards and always guarantee the best possible results in terms of system availability depending on the number of staff present.”
In addition to the aspects outlined above, Ingenics’ success formula “Opportunities × Motivation” is another key factor for sustainability of measures. “Our experts succeed time and again with their clients in creating the necessary opportunities and conditions to motivate staff when it comes to successfully implementing the required measures,” states Grundnig. “Of course, personal and social skills play an important role here as well as technical knowledge. Our experts are accepted and respected by employees and managers alike thanks to their cooperative manner. And this is true from the very first day.”